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Nemaska Lithium selects ABB for mine design project in Canada

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ABB is managing project design, engineering, delivery and site services related to electrification and automation to ensure efficiency for the life of the mine and processing plant

ABB will serve as the Key Technical Supplier and project management for electrification and automation for Nemaska Lithium’s new lithium mine.

Producing high-grade lithium for the fast-growing battery market

Nemaska Lithium is developing the Whabouchi spodumene deposit to meet the growing global demand for lithium batteries to be used in electric vehicles and energy storage systems, as well as in various consumer electronics. The initial lithium mine lifespan is projected at 26 years. The mine is located in the James Bay Region of Quebec, Canada near the Cree community of Nemaska.

Nemaska Lithium intends to become a lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate supplier to the emerging lithium battery market that is largely driven by electric vehicles, cell phones, tablets and other consumer products. The Corporation is developing in Quebec one of the most important spodumene lithium hard rock deposit in the world, both in volume and grade.

The spodumene concentrate produced at Nemaska Lithium's Whabouchi mine will be shipped to the Corporation's lithium compounds processing plant to be built in Shawinigan, Quebec. This plant will transform spodumene concentrate into high purity lithium hydroxide and carbonate using the proprietary methods developed by the Corporation, and for which the Corporation holds four granted patents and several patent applications that are pending in different countries, covering different aspects and improvements of its proprietary technology for preparing high purity lithium hydroxide and carbonate.

Fast-track project execution and delivery

Main data

 Customer:   Nemaska Lithium
 Site:   Whabouchi spodumene deposit in James Bay Region of Quebec, Canada
Customer need: 
  • ensure efficiency for the life of the mine and processing plant
  • fast production start meeting business targets
ABB Solutions: 
Customer benefits:
  • optimized mining value chain planning and design
  • substantial capital savings through early involvement
  • core business and management processes integrating real-time monitoring by smart sensors and analytics applications
  • leveraging artificial intelligence and predictive analytics after the ramp-up phase of the project
Commissioning year:  
For this project, ABB will design, procure and deliver the systems and infrastructure that will enable the mine, concentrator and Hydromet plant to operate efficiently, safely and reliably.

ABB will provide integrated automation and electrification systems, including power infrastructure and equipment, control systems and other automation equipment and software along with ongoing site services.

Furthermore, ABB will interface with third party vendors to ensure fast-track project execution and a lifetime of operational efficiency for the customer.

“ABB has been committed and engaged from the early days of this project, and continues to be a proven partner and a collaborating member of the project team,” said Guy Bourassa, CEO and President of Nemaska Lithium. “Their local and global teams, mining industry know-how and execution proficiency has helped us build a competitive project, while taking advantage of the latest digital automation and power technologies that will sustain our operations well into the future.”


Guy Bourassa, CEO and President of Nemaska Lithium
“ABB has been committed and engaged from the early days of this project, and continues to be a proven partner and a collaborating member of the project team”

Leveraging artificial intelligence and predictive analytics

The mine will extract ore from one of the world’s richest (by volume and grade) spodumene hard rock lithium deposits. The Hydromet plant, which will be located in Shawinigan (Quebec), some 600 kilometers away from the mine site, will use Nemaska Lithium’s patented process to transform the ore into highly valuable lithium hydroxide and also lithium carbonate. 

ABB AbilityTM solutions will provide the electrical and automation infrastructure needed to run this process, integrating real-time monitoring by smart sensors and analytics applications with Nemaska’s core business and management processes. The integrated approach will enable Nemaska to leverage artificial intelligence and predictive analytics after the ramp-up phase of the project.

Once all deliveries have taken place, ABB will continue to work with Nemaska Lithium onsite to ensure that their operational, productivity, energy efficiency and safety goals are met over the lifetime of this mine.
Guy Bourassa, CEO and President of Nemaska Lithium
"ABB's local and global teams, mining industry know-how and execution proficiency has helped us build a competitive project, while taking advantage of the latest digital automation and power technologies that will sustain our operations well into the future.”

ABB’s leading portfolio of digital solutions, ABB AbilityTM, combines ABB’s deep domain expertise with network connectivity and the latest digital technologies. We help customers develop new processes and advance existing ones by providing insights and optimizing planning and controls for real-time operations.


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